Our blog has moved, and is new and improved.

You should be automatically redirected in 3 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Brief arguments

Minneapolis attorney Mary Vasaly recently returned from a trip to Washington, D.C., where she had a chance to hear from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on appellate advocacy. At today’s Minnesota CLE Appellate Practice Institute, she passed along two nuggets of advice Alito shared.

The first was that amicus briefs shouldn’t repeat the arguments of the litigants, but should present the case in a new light. That makes sense.

The other comment was interesting. According to Vasaly, Alito said he frequently only reads the summary-of-the-arguments in briefs. (Supreme Court briefs can be up to 15,000 words long.) Thus, it's important to pack as much information into that section as possible – but concisely.

I’m not sure how I feel about the justices not reading the entire briefs.

No comments: